Elizabeth Kinney - Travels 2005-06 travel blog

Vaso and me at the monestary... in our skirts!

A great view of Thessoloniki

Me and Vaso out at night in Thessoloniki

On Mount Olympus! (Nadia, Vaso and me

One of the rock slides on the road up Mt. Olympus (kind...

A photo of Mount Olympus (part of the mountain... it was pretty...

On the beach below Mt. Olympus, playing with a random dog (hope...

The Gyro Men.... cutting meat (at least I hope that's what it...

OK... that's it. OK is probably the only word that is known everywhere around the universe, and believe me, here in Greece it has been a good word to know! Nadia and I had to take an overnight train up to Thessoloniki to meet up with Vaso (my friend from class). We sat in the wrong seats (first class... didn't realize we had reservations) but decided to try and upgrade. The other man in our compartment couldn't understand English, but I asked if it was OK that we stayed there. He shook his head yes... so, thankfully, we got a sort of good nights sleep in the train. I'm glad he understood OK and said that we could stay... otherwise our train seats would have made for a long night.

OK, it has been absolutely wonderful to see Vaso and to stay in a real home! Yesterday we arrived and showered, but then Vaso had a full itenirary planned for us! We went to this area called "Panorama" in English. There was a monestary for women that Vaso took us to. We had to put on these little skirts because pants weren't allowed (I'll add the pictures later). Then they served us these tiny Greek coffees and sweets. It was crazy and something a "tourist" would never do. That's the benefit of staying with a local. On a sidenote... something about staying in a monestary and not wearing makeup, dealing with guy problems, worrying about "worldly" things seems so appealing. I'm considering signing up! Alright, I won't go that far... but it was peaceful and beautiful.

When we arrived home, Vaso's mom had prepared a huge meal. Fish, fresh french fries (honestly the best I've ever had), Greek salad, bread. Then, she kept making cakes and cookies. She won't stop! But she is the nicest lady ever. It is strange, though, because Vaso's parents don't speak English. I can't imagine bringing a bunch of people to my house and my parents not being able to communicate with them. Vaso has taught us some Greek words... including Malaka (a Greek cuss word... how come those are the ones that seem to stick?) But it is hard because I can't communicate how much I appreciate everything Vaso's family has done for us.

Today was also wonderful... we drove about an hour to Mount Olympus (home of the gods). We drove way up high where there was still snow (and massive rock slides). Then we drove down to a little seaside village. We laid on the beach fully clothed (because it wasn't quite warm enough for swimsuits). It would be amazing in the summer! After our little journey, Vaso took us to her favorite place for gyros... incredible. (Although I will say that leaving Greece will be a good thing for my waistline!)

Just to give you a little idea of my schedule the next few days... tomorrow we are shopping and then I'm taking the overnight train back to Athens. Sunday night I take a ferry from Athens to Venice, Italy. It's a 31 hour ferry ride (yes, I'm a little nervous about sinking ferries), but hopefully I can catch up on sleep! OH... important note, everyone keeps asking how I have time to travel... it is our Easter break. We have four full weeks off for Easter. That should explain a lot!

I will try to write again soon... until then, take care and God Bless!

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